The unknown author of the Book of Hebrews has valuable insights for all of us today. Chapter 13, verse 1 is easy to understand. “Let brotherly love continue.” (Heb 13:1, KJV). When we get to verse 2, we have to stop and think. “Be not forgetful to entertain strangers: for thereby some have entertained angels unawares.” (Heb 13:2). There are several examples in the Old Testament of those who encountered angels which appeared to them as strangers: Abraham (Genesis 18:1-15); Lot (Genesis 19:1-22); Gideon (Judges 6:11-23); and Samson’s parents (Judges 13:3-21), are a few.
We are also to remember those who are in jail and not dwell on whether or not they are guilty or for what reason they are imprisoned. “Remember them that are in bonds, as bound with them; and them which suffer adversity, as being yourselves also in the body.” (Heb 13:3). We are all — those in marriage and those unmarried — to respect marriage. “Marriage is honourable in all, and the bed undefiled: but whoremongers and adulterers God will judge.” (Heb 13:4). This stays in line with the commandment, “Thou shalt not commit adultery.” (Ex 20:14).
Also, we are not to resent the blessings of others, nor are we to want what others have, “Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.” (Heb 13:5), which also represents a commandment, “Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor any thing that is thy neighbour’s.” (Ex 20:17).
We show our faith in God’s wisdom and judgment when we abstain from coveting. He will give us what we need, when we need it. We try to live obediently to God’s Word, “So that we may boldly say, The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man shall do unto me.” (Heb 13:6).
We are to respect those who have authority over us, and remember them in our prayers, “Remember them which have the rule over you, who have spoken unto you the word of God: whose faith follow, considering the end of their conversation.” (Heb 13:7). Why? Because, “Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and today, and for ever.” (Heb 13:8).
We are not to get carried away with doctrines and traditions that are contrary to God’s Word. “Be not carried about with divers and strange doctrines. For it is a good thing that the heart be established with grace; not with meats, which have not profited them that have been occupied therein.” (Heb 13:9).
We may even encounter people who worship a building, a statute, or something created, rather than the Creator — we are not to participate in this. “We have an altar, whereof they have no right to eat which serve the tabernacle. For the bodies of those beasts, whose blood is brought into the sanctuary by the high priest for sin, are burned without the camp. Wherefore Jesus also, that he might sanctify the people with his own blood, suffered without the gate. Let us go forth therefore unto him without the camp, bearing his reproach. For here have we no continuing city, but we seek one to come.” (Heb 13:10-14).
We are to continually praise God for all He has done for us, and continues to do for us daily. “By him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to his name. But to do good and to communicate forget not: for with such sacrifices God is well pleased.” (Heb 13:15-16).
So praise the Lord today. Give thanks for our blessings and show His love to others. Be kind to strangers — you might encounter an angel sent to test you, or give you good news. You never know what God has planned for you or for you to do.